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Rick Ross assassination attempt might have links to Gangster Disciples
Jan-30-2013 419 0


There is no shortage of suspects in Monday's assassination attempt on well-known rap star Rick Ross. And they all lead back to Chicago.

Ross survived a shooting ambush in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Monday morning.

The worst kept secret in the rap world has been a dispute between Ross and the Chicago-based Gangster Disciples. Ross was apparently targeted by gang leaders after he used some of their signs, symbols and logos without paying them the required fees.

Over the past few months, gang members have posted video death threats against the rapper on YouTube. Monday, a hit squad opened fire on Ross in South Florida.

There was a spray of gunfire just before daybreak on the silver Rolls Royce being driven by rapper Rick Ross, stage name for William L. Roberts.

"Nine or 10 shots, rapid fire," said a witness. "AK-47 or pretty large rifle, it was definitely a rifle."

Fort Lauderdale police tell the I-Team that they cannot confirm nor dismiss whether the allege threats to the rap star are legitimate but that detectives are examining the forensic evidence.

Despite all the bullets, rapper Ross, celebrating his 37th birthday Monday, was not hurt and neither was his girlfriend in the car, which crashed into an apartment.

Videos claiming to have been posted by Gangster Disciple members in cities across the U.S. all say that the rapper needs to pay the gang or he will be killed.

Authorities in South Florida say the motive for the attack is unclear.

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ap Apr-16-2015 64 0
Marion (Suge) Knight will stand trial on murder and attempted-murder charges after the former rap music mogul struck two men with his pickup truck in January, killing one and seriously injuring the other.

Superior Court Judge Ronald Coen made the ruling Thursday after concluding a hearing that focused heavily on testimony from Cle (Bone) Sloan, who was hit outside a Compton burger stand.

The judge also reduced bail from $25 million to $10 million.

Sloan told detectives that he attacked Knight but testified Monday that he didn’t remember the fight and did not want to be a “snitch.”

Prosecutors played Sloan’s statement to police, which offered a lucid, detailed account of the events Jan. 29 that led up to the deadly encounter.

Authorities contend Knight intentionally hit the men, killing Terry Carter, 55.

Knight’s attorney, Matt Fletcher, says his client was ambushed and was trying to escape Sloan’s attack when he ran over the men.

Sloan’s testimony demonstrated the difficulty in prosecuting Knight, who has gang ties and a reputation for intimidating witnesses.

“I will not be used to send Suge Knight to prison,” Sloan testified, adding that he was only on the stand because he was subpoenaed.

Prosecutors granted Sloan, a former gang member who’s known Knight for decades, limited immunity after he said he intended to invoke his Fifth Amendment right to avoid self-incrimination.

Knight, 49, was a key player in the gangster rap scene that flourished in the 1990s, and his label once listed Dr. Dre, Tupac Shakur and Snoop Dogg among its artists.

Knight lost control of the company after it was forced into bankruptcy.

Sloan, an adviser on the upcoming film “Straight Outta Compton,” said he was trying to forget details of the crash, in which he suffered two fractured ankles, a serious cut to his head, two torn knee ligaments and a shoulder injury.

“Every day, I try to forget it,” Sloan said. “I just know, I screwed up, and Terry’s dead.”

Sloan’s memory troubles prompted the judge to comment on his testimony: “I find that this witness is being deceptive.”

The judge also heard from the lead detective investigating the case and watched security camera footage of the crash.

The camera caught a limited view of the parking lot but shows Knight struggling with Sloan through the window of his truck before putting the vehicle in reverse, striking Sloan, then hitting him again and running over Carter while fleeing the scene.

Fletcher, Knight’s attorney, pressed Sloan on his feelings toward Knight and whether he was “enraged” at him on the day of the crash.

Sloan said he was mad but disputed that he told detectives he was enraged. Fletcher also painted Sloan as the aggressor, saying Knight “hadn’t attacked you in any form, fashion or manner. You agree?” “Yes,” Sloan said.

Knight faces up to life in prison if convicted in the case. He has prior felony convictions for armed robbery and assault with a gun.

Knight pleaded no contest in 1995 and was sentenced to five years’ probation in an assault on two rap entertainers at a Hollywood recording studio in 1992.

The rap figure was sentenced to prison in February 1997 for violating terms of that probation by taking part in a fight at a Las Vegas hotel hours before Shakur was fatally wounded in a drive-by attack as he rode in Knight’s car near the Strip.

Shakur’s slaying remains unsolved. Prosecutors only had to present a fraction of their evidence against Knight during the preliminary hearing that began Monday.

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AP Apr-14-2015 76 0
John Legend has launched a campaign to end mass incarceration.

The Grammy-winning singer announced the multiyear initiative, FREE AMERICA, on Monday. He will visit and perform at a correctional facility on Thursday in Austin, Texas, where he also will be part of a press conference with state legislators to discuss Texas’ criminal justice system.

“We have a serious problem with incarceration in this country,” Legend said in an interview. “It’s destroying families, it’s destroying communities and we’re the most incarcerated country in the world, and when you look deeper and look at the reasons we got to this place, we as a society made some choices politically and legislatively, culturally to deal with poverty, deal with mental illness in a certain way and that way usually involves using incarceration.”

Legend, 36, will also visit a California state prison and co-host a criminal justice event with Politico in Washington, D.C., later this month. The campaign will include help from other artists — to be announced — and organizations committed to ending mass incarceration.

“I’m just trying to create some more awareness to this issue and trying to make some real change legislatively,” he said. “And we’re not the only ones. There are senators that are looking at this, like Rand Paul and Cory Booker, there are other nonprofits that are looking at this, and I just wanted to add my voice to that.”

Legend’s speech at the Academy Awards this year struck a chord when he spoke about mass incarceration. He won the Oscar for best original song with rapper Common for “Glory” from the film “Selma.”

The singer said an early victory for his campaign was the approval of Proposition 47 in California in November, which calls for treating shoplifting, forgery, fraud, petty theft and possession of small amounts of drugs — including cocaine, heroin and methamphetamines — as misdemeanors instead of felonies.

“Once you have that tag of a felony on your name, it’s hard for you to do anything,” Legend said. “Getting those reduced to misdemeanors really impacted a lot of lives and we hope to launch more initiatives like that around the country.”

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Rich Schapiro Apr-12-2015 89 0
Rapper Nelly landed in a country slammer Saturday after Tennessee state troopers found pot and crystal meth on his bus, authorities said.

Troopers pulled over the “Country Grammar” singer’s motor coach about 9:20 a.m. in Putnam County for failing to display inspection stickers.

The troopers first smelled marijuana. They scoured the bus and found a plastic baggie containing crystal meth, pot and drug paraphernalia, the Chattanooga Times Free Press reported.

A further inspection uncovered 100 Ziploc bags commonly used to package drugs and a cache of guns including a gold-plated 50-caliber Desert Eagle pistol, a 45-caliber Taurus pistol, and a 500-magnum Smith and Wesson.

The 40-year-old Nelly, whose real name is Cornell Haynes, was charged with felony possession of drugs, simple possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The rapper, who was on his way to his hometown of St. Louis, was shipped off to the Putnam County Jail.

Five other people were on the bus, including a convicted felon named Brian Jones, 44, authorities said.

Jones was charged with possession of a handgun.

Nelly, one of hip hop’s biggest stars in the early 2000s, is scheduled to perform at Missouri State University on April 23.

His first studio album, “Country Grammar,” went platinum after its 2000 release.

His most recent album, M.O., released in 2013, sold only 23,000 copies.

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Eli Rosenberg Apr-06-2015 141 0
Police are investigating reports that the rapper DMX robbed a man at a Newark gas station early Sunday morning, officials said.

A 21-year-old man told Newark cops that DMX and the rapper's entourage fleeced him for $3,200 worth of cash at an Exxon station just after midnight, according to Newark Police spokesman Ronald Glover.

The victim told police that the conflict began after he recognized the rap star at the filling station on Highway 21 and the two began to talk about music.

During the conversation, a member of the rapper’s entourage pulled out a gun, and demanded the victim’s money, the man told police.

The alleged victim followed DMX and his entourage after they robbed him, getting close enough to get a license plate number off one car.

After the man pulled the huge wad of cash out of his pocket, DMX allegedly grabbed the money and fled in a fleet of four black Cadillac Escalades, the man told police.

The man followed the caravan close enough to get the license plate number for one of the vehicles.

No one has been arrested in the ongoing investigation, police said.

DMX, who recently made a comical appearance as a jailbird in Chris Rock's film, "Top Five," was scheduled to be in Newark Saturday night for a concert at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.

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Nancy Dillon Apr-04-2015 185 0
Rockawear co-founder Damon Dash is throwing some new stones in his bitter custody battle with ex-wife Rachel Roy.

The former Jay Z business partner filed court documents Friday claiming Roy drove drunk with their youngest daughter in her vehicle, stole pricey luxury items from him and threatened his life with a knife, TMZ reported.

The ex-honcho at Roc-A-Fella Records said he now wants full custody of Ava, 15, and Tallulah, 6, according to TMZ.

Dash, 43, previously accused Roy, 41, of blocking access to their daughters. He posted a series of videos on Instagram this week claiming she called the police on him with a kidnapping allegation.

“I can’t even pick my daughter up, haven't seen her in three weeks, four weeks. It’s considered kidnapping just to raise my kid,” he scoffed in one video depicting his run-in with several Los Angeles Police officers waiting for him outside a residence.

In his court docs, Dash reportedly claimed Roy once threw plates at him and also stole two diamond chains from him worth $10,000 each along with a $5,000 Bottega Veneta suitcase.

It was last week that Roy touched off the latest legal war by filing their New York custody order in Los Angeles, where the sparring ex-spouses are raising the girls.

Roy wants Dash's visitation revoked, calling him a drug abuser and unfit dad who recently failed to send their daughter to school.

She filed for a restraining order last Friday, which was granted.

A hearing in the case has been set for April 20.

The ex-power couple met when Roy was a designer for Rocawear. They got hitched in Mexico in 2005, the same year Roy launched her own eponymous fashion line, now a favorite with First Lady Michelle Obama and good friend Kim Kardashian.

Roy filed for divorce in New York in 2009 after his personal empire, once pegged at "about $50 million" in a New York magazine profile, collapsed under crushing debt, bad deals and lawsuits.

Dash, who sold his stake in Rocawear to Jay-Z for $20 million in 2005, is now producing an episodic online movie titled "Loisaidas" with former music protégé Kanye West.

Roy, meanwhile, made her own headlines last May when she was the rumored cause of Solange Knowles' elevator beatdown of Jay-Z at The Standard Hotel.

Beyonce's younger sister apparently thought Roy and Hova were getting too close at the Met Gala after-party, sources told the Daily News.

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Denis Slattery Mar-28-2015 307 0
“Empire” star Taraji Henson apologized to Glendale cops after a video contradicting her claims that officers racially profiled her son during a traffic stop surfaced, according to reports.

The 44-year-old Emmy-nominated actress said the stop influenced her decision to send her college-bound son to Howard University in Washington, D.C., instead of USC.

But footage obtained by the Los Angeles Times cast doubts on Henson’s initial claim that police improperly targeted her son.

“I would like to publicly apologize to the officer and the Glendale Police Department,” she said in an Instagram message after the paper released the video. “A mother's job is not easy and neither is a police officer's. Sometimes as humans we overreact without gathering all the facts. As a mother in this case, I overreacted and for that I apologize. Thank you to that officer for being kind to my son.”

Henson’s 20-year-old son, Marcell Johnson, was pulled over by a Glendale police officer on Oct. 18 last year after failing to yield to a pedestrian.

When asked if he had anything illegal in his Honda Civic, Johnson admits to having marijuana and the prescription drug Ritalin in the car.

He then admits to smoking pot about two hours earlier and says that the Ritalin was given to him by a friend.

After consenting to a search and a sobriety test, the cops let him off with a citation and a warning.

“I am giving this to you too because you smoked weed about two hours ago … and a warning if you have Ritalin on you and you’re not supposed to, don’t do it,” the cops said. “That’s a big violation and I wouldn’t want to do that to you.”

Glendale Police Chief Robert Castro said the racial profile allegations resulted in threats against the department.

“The contact and actions with Marcell Johnson were legal, professional and empathetic,” he said.

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Doyle Murphy Mar-27-2015 289 0
Darius McCrary, whose Eddie Winslow was upstaged by lovable nerd Steve Urkel on the 1990s show, was busted Wednesday in Michigan for failing to pay child support, authorities told the Daily News.

An Oakland County judge ordered sheriff’s deputies to arrest the former child star during a court appearance on Wednesday, giving McCrary an ultimatum: Pay a $5,500 fine or sit in jail.

The 38-year-old actor was booked but quickly decided to pay up rather than sleep over, authorities said.

McCrary faced up to two weeks behind bars, according the TMZ.com, which first reported the arrest.

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INQUISTR Mar-22-2015 526 0
Malik Yoba was reportedly fired from Empire for drugs, with insiders saying his substance abuse was causing problems on the set and eventually prompted Fox execs to step in.

Yoba’s Empire character, Vernon Turner, was killed off in the show’s two-hour season finale. In an interview after the big finale, Yoba said he was surprised but not bitter about the decision to kill off his character.

Malik said he learned from series co-creator Lee Daniels that word came down from Fox that Vernon Turner would be killed off.

“Lee called me and told me,” Yoba told TMZ. “He said that, um, someone at Fox said that someone needed to die in the season finale. So, I was like ‘Word?’ ”

Malik was diplomatic about the decision, however, saying:

“To this day, I don’t know — in the infinite wisdom — who thought it was the best approach, but someone did. I never got a clear answer on it. But it wasn’t about the work or ethics or work ethics. It was the plot line.

Vernon’s gone, but Malik lives on. And — as I’ve told you, Chuck, in private — it’s a great opportunity to push forward the work that I’m doing in terms of building my own empire, if you will.”

But a source close to the show said that Malik Yoba was fired for drugs, with his substance abuse catching the attention of higher-ups at the network.

The insider stated,

“Malik Yoba is back on drugs and he was making everyone on the set uncomfortable. One star of the show even threatened to quit during the 10th episode, but then they upped their pay to convince them to stay. Fox caught wind of what was going on and gave Lee Daniels an ultimatum: ‘You tell Malik he’s fired or we will.’ Fox also threatened to shelve the show indefinitely if Daniels didn’t do as he was told. So he did, and the rest is history.”

Despite the now widespread rumor, there is no verification that Malik Yoba was fired for drugs. And the official word from Empire show-runners was that Vernon Turner was killed off as part of a planned shake-up at the end of the first season, with neither Yoba nor Lee Daniels speaking publicly about the rumor.

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nancy dillon Mar-20-2015 159 0
Rap mogul Suge Knight collapsed in a courtroom Friday shortly after a judge set his bail at $25 million in his pending murder case.

The co-founder of Death Row Records was walking back to the defense table after the judge initially left the bench so his lawyer could address a medical issue.

Knight hit the ground and appeared motionless when the judge cleared the courtroom.

Lawyer Matthew Fletcher came out about 10 minutes later and told Knight’s family that the burly inmate was still unconscious.

Knight’s mother started crying in the hallway, asking for more information.

“I’m very upset. I’m very upset,” Knight’s father told the Daily News. “We want him to be healthy. We just want to know he’s okay. We can deal with everything else. We just need him to be okay.”

Fletcher said Knight didn’t get a breakfast Friday morning and wasn’t receiving proper medication in custody. He said Knight has diabetes, glaucoma and a blood clot near his lung and was being kept in solitary confinement without hot water or a blanket.

Before he passed out, Knight was “sweating like a pig,” Fletcher said.

An ambulance took Knight to a hospital, and Fletcher said he was awaiting an update late Friday morning.

The medical emergency came after Fletcher called the prosecution’s request for $25 million bail both “absurd” and “ludicrous” in his argument for a “more reasonable” bail of $2 million.

Prosecutors, meanwhile, called Knight a “prolific and unrepentant” criminal with a long history of violent behavior who's been extorting money from up-and-coming rappers.

In court, Deputy District Attorney Cynthia Barnes argued for the $25 million bail saying Knight “escalated his behavior and committed murder” after he was released on bail last year in a pending felony robbery case.

“Twenty-five million may be financial incentive enough to stop this behavior,” she told Judge Ronald Coen.

Knight, dressed in an orange jail uniform and black slippers, twitched his left arm repeatedly during the hearing.

He’s accused of mowing down two men with his truck in a restaurant parking lot on Jan. 29, injuring former gang member Cle “Bone” Sloan and killing local businessman Terry Carter.

Carter’s daughter Crystal Carter sat through the hearing and scoffed at Knight’s collapse as she left.

“He’s an actor,” said. Another Carter relative called Knight "a murderer."

In her bail motion, Barnes said Knight has continued his "repugnant life of crime" in the last decade and pulled in millions from extortion along with his associates.

“Apparently, when a new artist or rapper comes to either Los Angeles or Las Vegas, he is required to pay a ‘tax’ to Defendant Knight,” the motion said.

Prosecutors said Knight is facing a life sentence if convicted and would be a flight risk if released.

Fletcher offered to have Knight outfitted with a monitoring ankle bracelet.

Prosecutors also claimed Knight made threats over the upcoming film "Straight Outta Compton," which chronicles the rise of iconic rap group N.W.A.

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